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PCMs, ECMs, TCMs - Powertrain Control Modules

Let's explain PCMs, ECMs, and TCMs! PCM stands for Powertrain Control Module. This is a module that controls both your engine and transmission. If you have an ECM/TCM setup, you have separate control modules that control the engine and transmission.

1993-1995 Cadillacs and Auroras have an OBD-1 PCM with a removable PROM chip. The PROM chip holds all of the information on "how" to run the engine and transmission.

1996-1999 Cadillacs and Auroras have an OBD-2 PCM with flash memory - no removable chips. This one module controls both your engine and transmission.

2000-2003 Cadillacs and Auroras have a newer Siemens OBD-2 PCM with flash memory.

2004-2005 Front-drive Cadillacs and Bonneville GXPs have an OBD-2 PCM, part number:

2004-2006 Rear wheel/all wheel drive Cadillacs have an OBD-2 PCM similar to the 2004-2005 front wheel drive cars.

2006 Supercharged Northstars use an ECM/TCM setup (2 separate modules).

2006-2011 Front wheel drive Cadillacs and Buick Lucerne cars use an ECM and TCM (2 separate modules).

2007-2011 Rear wheel/all wheel drive Cadillacs use an ECM/TCM setup (2 separate modules).

All of the 1996+ control modules have Security features (called VATS) built into them. If you need to replace your control module on 1996-2011 cars, the modules must be programmed (flashed) to your vehicle's VIN/serial number. Even if two identical modules look the same, they often run different operating systems and calibrations.

When purchasing replacement control modules, it is best to source one from someone experienced in these control modules. Here at Northstar Performance, we keep a very extensive inventory of replacement and performance-tuned control modules for 1993-2011 Cadillacs and other GM vehicles. We have all of the special tools and software to flash these modules to your vehicle.

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Vehicles We Specialize In

Buick Lucerne (V8)
Pontiac Bonneville GXP
Oldsmobile Aurora

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